Could the Early-2000s Hiatus of Global Warming have been Predicted in the 1990s?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 07:00
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The slow-down in the rate of global warming in the early-2000s is not evident in the multi-model ensemble average of traditional climate change projection simulations. However, despite the questions regarding possible model biases in climate sensitivity or omission of forcings, a number of individual ensemble members from that set of models successfully simulate the early-2000s hiatus when naturally-occurring climate variability involving the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) coincided, by chance, with the observed negative phase of the IPO that contributed to the early-2000s hiatus. If the recent methodology of initialized decadal climate prediction could have been applied in the 1990s using some of these same models, both the negative phase of the IPO in the early 2000s as well as the hiatus could have been predicted.